Thailand – The Emerging Trading Hub of Asia

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Thailand is the center of all trades in the Asian region. Due to its strategic location, Thailand is always the best choice for a startup in Asia. Other than trading, business opportunity in Thailand is remarkably huge, attracting local investors as well. Thai government value the land to be attractive to foreign investors and hence give importance to both progressive investment promotion policies and sufficient infrastructure. Thailand is also the major player behind business development in Asia.

The Thai economy has been moderately free for two decades. GDP growth has been solid, although it could decelerate in 2020 because of slower domestic and foreign demand. Thailand has made remarkable progress in expanding economic freedom, moving from a low-income to an upper-income country in less than a generation. Thailand is characterized by strong exports, steady growth, and a high-spirited domestic consumer market. Foreign investors are attracted by Thailand’s abundant natural resources, cost-effective skilled workforce. This helps them to prosper and develop their business.  Many companies have their Asian office or head-office of the Asia region in Thailand. Thailand is one of the countries in the world with the lowest unemployment rates.

Gateway to Asia

Asia is the largest growing economic market. Thailand is at the geographical crossroads and enjoys an advantage because of its strategic location. It serves as a gateway to the hub of all economic activities. Geographical & political measures set up, arrange for convenient trades with China, India, and the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Thailand also provides easy access to the Greater Mekong sub-region. All these areas serve great business potential, making Thailand the Asian representation of the business hub.

ASEAN Centre

Thailand is the forerunner for business development in Asia. Thailand has long been a proponent of free and fair trade and its attractiveness as a production base for leading international companies is enhanced by several free trade agreements.  The country was one of the founding members of the ASEAN Region. It has since then been instrumental in the formation and development of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). AFTA entered into force on 1 January 2010 for reducing import duties to zero for all its members. Thailand has forged close economic cooperation with other ASEAN member nations, and Thai manufactured products and services have access to their markets.

Stability & Infrastructure

Thailand is foreigner-friendly and has good infrastructure with updated & modernized transport facilities. The country has upgraded communications and IT networks that ensure optimum business conditions. Business in Thailand usually gets the extra push to achieve their goals from the existing conditions of the country. The state-of-the-art industrial estates boast of sophisticated facilities and superior services.

Investment Policies

Any startup in Asia has as affection towards Thailand due to its well-defined investment policies that focus on liberalization and encourage free trade. Thailand consistently ranks top at being the most attractive investment locations in International surveys.Thailand is ranked 21st out of 190 countries in the World Bank Group’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business report rankings. The Thai government actively promotes & encourages foreign investments, investments that contribute to innovation, technology & skill development. Thailand has a growing transport not only with every province in the country but also to neighboring countries of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In addition, Thailand also offers 7 State-of-the-art International airports, modern mass transit, high internet speed access, 6 deep-sea ports, 2 international river ports. Thailand’s air & marine transport is strengthened quite deeply to meet the growing demands of trade.

 Government support and incentives

The Thai government actively supports business investments both from foreign & national entities. There are numerous government agencies that support investors. Through the Board of Investment, the government offers a range of tax incentives, support services, and import duty exemptions or reductions to promote trade & growth in the economy. Hence companies receiving investment promotion privileges from the Board of Investment of the government are not subject to foreign equity restrictions in the manufacturing sector. There are no local content requirements nor export requirements, as the country’s investment regime is in total compliance with the WTO regulations.

The Board of Investments also actively coordinates for Visa and Work Permits, which help companies to obtain work permits and long-term visas in less than 3 hours. The BOI also facilitates a full range of services and streamline investment procedures by bringing representatives of more than 20 government agencies under one roof. In addition to the activities of the BOI, other government organizations, such as the Department of Export Promotion and international Chambers of Commerce, provide invaluable support and a host of other important services.

Long-established and newly emerging industries

With steady economic development and strong support industries, Thailand’s industrial production has grown and diversified rapidly both in long-established and newly emerging industries. The government emphasizes attracting investment in six sectors that have been determined to be key to the country’s developmental objectives. The six target industries are agriculture and agro, alternative energy, automotive, electronics, fashion, and services including entertainment, healthcare, and tourism.

Developments in agriculture since the 1960s have supported Thailand’s transition to an industrialized economy. Thailand is the world’s third-largest seafood exporter. The most important sub-sector of Thailand’s industry is manufacturing, which accounts for more than 34.5 percent of the country’s GDP.

The economy of Thailand is heavily dependent on exports, which accounts for more than
two-thirds of the country’s gross domestic product. Thailand’s largest export sector is the electrical and electronic equipment sector, amounting to more than 15 percent of the country’s total exports. As of 2020, Thailand is the largest exporter of computers and computer components in ASEAN. Thailand is the world’s second-biggest maker of hard disk drives after China. Thailand is the ASEAN leader in automotive production and sales. By value, gems and jewelry exports are Thailand’s third-largest export category.

Thailand is the land for new business opportunities, emerging markets, creating a skilled workforce & giving business & startups the extra push for them to be successful. Startup consultancies in Thailand play an important role in the smooth running of the economic system.

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